Quick Reference Planner for Transition to Middle School A Guide for Parents (Step 4) Arlington Public Schools Department of Student Services Office of Special Education Parent Infant Pre-kindergarten Elementary School Middle School High School Post-Secondary Education This is document “Step 4” in the APS “Step by Step” series. Many people deserve a great deal more acknowledgement than we can give here. Particular recognition is given to Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, Assistant Superintendent, Student Services, and Dr. Julie Crawford, Director of Special Education. Special thanks also to educators, parents, transition services coordinators, physical therapists, speech therapists, and special education coordinators for their assistance as members of the Arlington Public Schools Transition Committee. 9/2007 The Differences Between Elementary and Middle School Difference Elementary School Middle School Size Average number of students = 478 Average number of students = 631 Schedule Students are taught most of the core subjects by Each student sees multiple teachers (on a team) on one teacher. The schedule varies from day to day a set schedule or periods. Students are expected to based on specials (music, art, etc.). attend class and move between classes independently. Independence Students follow class procedures and the direction Students independently move from class to class, of their classroom teachers. While students may bringing supplies to class and maintaining a locker. have a locker, their supplies are often stored in desks or provided for them. Homework All students will have some homework. Teachers Homework and the responsibility for keeping track may help the student keep track of assignments. of assignments and turning them in is placed on the student. Caseloads Teachers are responsible for one group of Teachers are usually responsible for several groups students. of students on their team. Study Skills Not offered as a class. Offered as a class. Middle School Transition Students should usually begin at middle school to participate actively (with their parents) in the devel- opment of their IEPs. This will assist them in understanding the process and in building personal responsibility. The middle school curriculum should include self-advocacy instruction and exploration of individual learning styles. Students are expected to use these skills at IEP meetings during their middle school career. Student needs may include: ? social and coping skills for middle school ? self- management organization ? self-advocacy ? academic responsibility ? career exploration ? learning basic job-seeking and job-keeping skills ? learning to work with different types of groups and individuals For some students, preparation for post-secondary living arrangements and other long-term planning should commence (refer to The Transition Book for more information). Brief Description of Middle School Programs At the middle school level, special education services are delivered based on the individual needs of students as reflected in their IEPs. Students may be served within the framework of a number of diverse programs and services. Students receiving special education services may be involved in integrated, general education and/or pull-out settings. Resource teachers work with the general education team to provide services in core classes, which include English, Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies. Students who need study skill support may obtain additional help and reinforcement with the instructional studies class. Students who receive a self-contained level of service receive instruction in an integrated or small-group setting based on individual needs. An emphasis is placed on SOL preparation and functional skills development. Interlude is an intensive alternative special education program for students whose emotional problems and disruptive behavior interfere with academic achievement and interpersonal relationships. Interlude classes consist of small class environments (10 students maximum) with a team-oriented approach that provides support to implement a comprehensive plan of therapy, education, and discipline. The Functional Life Skills or Community-Based Instruction programs are functional academic classes primarily for students with cognitive disabilities. They provide students with opportunities to have community-based experiences and career exploration along with academics. Important Middle School Information My child signed up for the following classes from Course Request Form (CRFs): Core/Required Subjects Electives ___ English ___ Art ___ Drama ___ Social Studies ___ Tech Ed ___ Journalism ___ Math ___ Home Ec. ___ Keyboarding ___ Science ___ Instrumental Music ___ Chorus ___ Reading ___ Foreign Language ___ Instructional Skills ___ P.E./Health ___ _______________(Other) Other interests and goals: ___________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Middle Schools Gunston Middle School Jefferson Middle School 2700 South Lang Street ~ 22206 125 South Old Glebe Road ~ 22204 703-228-6900 703-228-5900 www.apsva.us/gunston www.apsva.us/jefferson Kenmore Middle School 200 South Carlin Springs Road ~ 22204 703-228-6800 www.apsva.us/kenmore Swanson Middle School Williamsburg Middle School 5800 North Washington Boulevard ~ 22205 3600 North Harrison Street ~ 22207 703-228-5500 703-228-5450 www.apsva.us/swanson www.apsva.us/williamsburg Alternative Programs H-B Woodlawn Program Stratford Program 4100 Vacation Lane ~ 22207 4100 Vacation Lane ~ 22207 703-228-6363 703-228-6440 www.apsva.us/woodlawn www.apsva.us/stratford Contacts at the middle school level: Name Phone # Special Education Teacher/Monitor______________________________________________ _________________________ General Education Teacher(s)______________________________________________ _________________________ ______________________________________________ _________________________ Elective Teacher______________________________________________ _________________________ Special Education Coordinator______________________________________________ _________________________ Transition Coordinator______________________________________________ _________________________ Counselor______________________________________________ _________________________ Principal______________________________________________ _________________________ Special Education Parent Resource Center_____________________________________________ 703-228-7239 Checklist for Transition Activities: Elementary School to Middle School Use this worksheet to keep track of important information and tasks to be completed before middle school. ___Obtain a copy of the School Handbook and/or profile for your child’s middle school early in the year. Publications are available in each middle school, and the School Information Center / Public Information Office (Room 106 at Arlington Education Center). ___Learn about alternative programs at H-B Woodlawn and Stratford. These school handbooks/profiles can be picked up at the above locations as well. Try to get these in September. ___Obtain a copy of the community-based instruction/vocational guide (if needed) from the Office of Special Education at the Arlington Education Center or request a copy from your child’s teacher in September. This publication provides information on county programs that offer a “structured hands-on program with applied activities and projects, using community resources and services to meet a student’s academic, social, community and vocational needs.” ___Check with your elementary school or call your middle school for the dates of middle school orientations/open houses. In some cases, the middle schools will send a representative to the elementary schools. In addition, you may always call the middle school to make an appointment to visit. Orientation/open house dates vary from school to school. My middle school orientation/open house is :________________________________________ ___Discuss your IEP goals, transition issues related to moving to a new school, program changes, and middle school classes at the Fall Teacher/Parent Conference (usually held in early October). ___Obtain a list of your middle school’s extracurricular events so that you and your child may attend some of these events. (Music, arts and sports events are a great way to learn about your school.) Some of the events in which I am interested are: _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ___If you child’s re-evaluation is due, be involved in the process. Generally a re-evaluation needs to be completed at least every 3 years. Your child’s re-evaluation date is on the “IEP cover page.” It makes the transition process easier if the eligibility is completed by the end of January. ___Discuss your IEP goals, transition issues related to moving to a new school, program changes, and middle school classes at the Spring Teacher/Parent Conference (usually held in early March). If there is not enough time, make sure you schedule another meeting or an IEP pre-planning meeting. It is beneficial if there are representatives from the receiving middle school at the IEP meeting. ___Talk with your child’s teachers and monitor about course selection and other differences between elementary and middle schools. Course registration is in January-February. ___Participate in the IEP meeting for your child’s middle school placement. Ask lots of questions so that you understand the differences in class schedules, the role of staff, and any other concerns. Also ask for a contact person at the middle school. IEPs should be completed by May. ___Discuss your child’s visit to the middle school. Elementary school students visit the middle schools in May. Additional visits may be arranged. ___Register for extended day if your child will need before- or after-school care. Learn about the differences between the middle school and elementary school programs. ___Obtain information about and/or join the middle school PTA.